The Tribune (NZ) - - WELCOME - – Richard

Call it a tale of two treaties. There was the Treaty of Wai­tangi signed in 1840, which gave us a hol­i­day week­end, though not with­out tra­di­tional protest; and the TPPA, signed also amid protests.

Com­mon to both are am­bi­gu­ity and con­tro­versy, while at their hearts are is­sues of sovereignty.

It has taken 176 years and count­ing, to un­tan­gle the com­plex­i­ties of Wai­tangi. Un­der­stand­ing the con­se­quences of the TPP has only just be­gun.

In both cases, one side hails an as­pect of the ar­gu­ment, while the other in­ter­prets some­thing else.

Those pro TPP see ex­panded trade op­por­tu­ni­ties in six ‘‘Free trade in our time’’ chap­ters. Those op­posed see global cor­po­rate in­ter­ests sub­vert­ing sovereignty and the demo­cratic process in the other 24.

At least now we’re hav­ing the TPPA de­bate. Vig­or­ous de­bate, even if it is un­com­fort­able, is vi­tal. We are only where we are with Wai­tangi be­cause of it.

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